Labor Shortages Slow Homebuilding Recovery

Washington, DC, March 22, 2013 -- Growing labor shortages in all facets of the residential construction sector are impeding the housing and economic recovery, according to a new survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders.

“The survey of our members shows that since June of 2012, residential construction firms are reporting an increasing number of shortages in all aspects of the industry. The same holds true for subcontractors,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

The survey also found that more than half of the builders reported that labor shortages over the past six months have caused them to pay higher wages or subcontractor bids to secure projects, and consequently, to raise home prices. Moreover, 46 percent of the builders surveyed experienced delays in completing projects on time, 15 percent had to turn down some projects and 9 percent lost or cancelled sales as a result of recent labor shortages.

Part of the reason for the labor shortages can be attributed to the fact that many skilled residential construction workers were forced to seek employment elsewhere during the recession and are no longer currently available.

“What used to be high-paying, skilled jobs vanished as builders across the nation went out of business or were forced to let workers go,” said NAHB Chairman Rick Judson.


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